Einstein: scientist-sage, brother of atom-universe
Author's prefaceScience Einstein was.
Philosophy Einstein became.
Literature Einstein gave.
Albert Einstein, scientist-sageAlbert Einstein, scientist-sage!
The wonder supreme of a vision-blaze.
A power-tower in a tiny frame.
Energy and mass enjoy their game
Of oneness-fulness, perfection-height.
Einstein, all-where your sleepless light.
In your greatest revolution-role
The world's fastest evolution-goal.
— Sri Chinmoy
Scientist EinsteinScientist Einstein Scientist Einstein, Scientist!
Your vision-boon our age-old hunger-feast.
O brave thinker-mind,
O hallowed seeker-heart,
You are the pioneer
Of a great progress-start.
O good God-lover,
O true truth-server,
O pure earth-awakener,
O sure Heaven-bringer!
— Sri Chinmoy
Einstein, your theory of relativityEinstein, your theory of relativity,
The supreme boon to humanity.
— Sri Chinmoy
Part II: Personal glimpses
1.Morning does not always necessarily show the day. Einstein's morning-life in no way heralded the full promise of his brightest day. When Einstein's father asked his son's headmaster what direction young Albert's studies should take, the headmaster replied, "It doesn't matter; he'll never make a success of anything."
2.What is the difference between the hearts simplicity and the mind's genius? Not only are they one, but they have tremendous fondness for each other. Einstein's life is a radiant example. In him the world discovered a child-heart and a oneness-realisation-heart.
One Christmas Eve some children came to his house to sing carols. No one was more surprised than they when the scientist asked if they would like him to come with them to other houses, accompanying them on his violin. Their child-hearts welcomed his offer with unreserved delight.
3.Einstein emphasised the necessity of sincerity and truth in the blossoming consciousness of budding souls. Once a little girl went to Einstein's home to ask for help with her homework, because a friend had told her that he was very good at arithmetic. She did not realise who Einstein was. The immortal scientist was very kind to the girl and invited her in to talk about her problem. After some time he told her that she should learn how to do the calculations from her teacher, who he knew was very good, or by herself. He said he couldn't do her homework for her because this would not help her learn.The next day the child went to her teacher and bravely admitted that she did not understand how to do the problem. She told her of her encounter with Einstein and added that her teacher must indeed be very good, since Mr. Einstein could not do the problem either.
4.His was a heart of sympathy. His was a life of oneness. On January 3, 1943 Einstein received a letter from a girl who was having difficulties with mathematics in her studies. Einstein consoled her far beyond her imagination when in answer to her letter he wrote: "Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics. I can assure you that mine are still greater."
5.Disbelief is nothing short of poison. Therefore, it is better to believe and be deceived than not to believe at all. One may appear stupid, but this is better than succumbing to disbelief. Knowing perfectly the outcome, if one lives in the world of hope, one can never be devoured by frustration-dragon.
One day, when Einstein gave some money to a beggar, his wife said to him: "Albert, you have again given money to a man. I'm sure is a crook."
Einstein replied, "I know. All the same, he must really be in need. One does not beg for the pleasure of it. And it is simpler to believe and be deceived occasionally than to live in a state of disbelief."
Here the scientist illumines his wife's mind and teaches something new to the world at large. When one gives, one must give unconditionally if one hopes to derive true joy and true benefit. There is no other way.
6.Mother Earth is compassionate enough to embrace each and every individual. She never excludes anyone, not even grossly insensitive and deplorably callous human beings. One evening, while Einstein was giving a violin concert, he noticed that several older women in the audience were knitting. He immediately stopped playing and put away his violin. When the ladies asked him why he had stopped, he explained, "I would not dream of disturbing your work."
7.Einstein the professor at times wanted to enjoy his role as a musician more than his role as a lecturer. What he had within he wanted to mete out. What he had within was joy and what he wanted to give out was also joy. At times, the musician in him was inundated with divinely illumining ecstasy. Therefore, he felt that music would be the right thing to offer to his students, who badly needed joy. Once, instead of delivering his scheduled lecture at Geneva University, he surprised and delighted his audience by giving a violin concert instead. Explained Einstein, "It will perhaps be pleasanter and more understandable if instead of making a speech I play the violin."
8.Music has a universal appeal; it elevates human consciousness. Music glorifies the human in the divine and the divine in the human. The human is the eternal thirst; the divine is the eternal satisfaction. Einstein the musician consoled, energised, harmonised, benefited and universalised Einstein the scientist. Music not only kindled the flame of aspiration in him but also illumined his human thought-world. "I often think in music. I live my daydreams in terms of music," he declared.
9.Einstein was absent-minded even as a youth. But we have to know that although today's absent-mindedness may incur hurtful ridicule, tomorrow's new and fulfilling realisation will claim the highest admiration and deepest gratitude. Once, when Einstein was young, he stayed overnight at a friend's house. When he left the next morning, he forgot his suitcase. The friend's parents said to Einstein's parents, "That young man will never amount to anything, because he can't remember anything."
10.Even when world name and world fame touched the very dust of his feet, it seems that his absent-mindedness-friend would not leave him. Soon after Einstein moved to Princeton, the Dean's office received a phone call asking where Dr. Einstein lived. When the office said it was the policy not to give out this information in order to protect the scientist from curious visitors, the caller lowered his voice and said, "Please do not tell anybody, but I am Dr. Einstein. I am on my way home and have forgotten where my house is."
What do we learn from this? The mind is so deeply absorbed in one highly illumining and fulfilling reality that it finds it extremely difficult, almost impossible, to come down to the matter-oriented consciousness of human life.
11.The scientist-sage valued two things most ardently: simplicity and privacy. Simplicity expedites our heavenward journey; privacy is our refusal to squander our inner spontaneous faith. The world admired his simplicity-heart and his privacy-life. To quote Einstein: "I don't want anyone walking through my life."
12.Death precedes birth, birth precedes death. Death is an undeniable fact. Death is also a mystery. The more we try to understand it with our human capacities, the more this mystery baffles us. To the weary souls who have fought sleeplessly against death, when finally it arrives it comes as a supreme relief. Once, in an interview with Albert Einstein, I. B. Cohen commented that "Death is both a fact and a mystery," to which Einstein added, "and a relief."
13.When the final hour arrives, no one can deny its call. The oneness-heart of Einstein, which sailed with the Supreme Pilot, knew this. Therefore, he was dead against the use of any artificial treatment to prolong his life. Simple he was, natural he was, spontaneous he was. Any kind of artificiality was always foreign to him. His was a candid life-opening reality and truth-fulfilling divinity that pervaded the entire world. When Einstein was told that surgery might be able to cure his ailment, he only replied, "I do not believe in artificially prolonging life."
14.Einstein's life was a song of simplicity from beginning to end. When the scientist died, very few people came to his funeral, even less than the number present at his birth. He had asked that he be cremated and that there be nothing to mark his passing. This last wish, too, was granted.
Part III: Life-philosophy
1.Each human being is a unique reality in himself and has a standard of his own. Although he is a part of an integral reality, it is wise to let him develop his own standard according to his inner receptivity and outer capacity. Standardisation will be a deplorable mistake. The unique individualist in Einstein illumines our minds: "Standardisation robs life of its spice."
The thinker in Einstein tells us something most significant: who is qualified and who is not qualified for life. The thinker-scientist, who is a staunch supporter of truth, awakens the human in us and fulfils the divine in us when he says: "The man who regards life […] as meaningless is not merely unfortunate but almost disqualified for life."
2.To succeed in life, devotion is necessary and patience is necessary. Devotion has to be spontaneous. Patience has to be sleepless. There is no other way to succeed in life.
Greatness and devotedness perfectly rhyme. Patience is nothing short of strength; devotion is Eternity's Length. Both devotion and patience are of supreme importance. Devotion wants to run fast, faster, fastest. Patience says to devotion, "You run the fastest. I shall conquer all obstacles on the way for you." To quote Einstein: "If one gets hold of something that will not let go its hold on him — in short, if one has the devotion for a great work — what more is necessary? Patience! Then a little more patience."
3.What we need is a clear mind. What we need is a pure heart A mind of clarity and a heart of purity can alone give birth to courage. And what is courage? Courage is that which surmounts the torturing and destructive fear.
"When we are clear in heart and mind — only then shall we find courage to surmount the fear which haunts the world," Einstein said.
4.To avoid danger out of insecurity or fear is not the answer. As Einstein showed in his own life, danger should be avoided only because of a noble principle or a great realisation. Otherwise, one should give up thoughts of danger and insecurity-life, for a life of fear is the awakening of death-dragon. "If a man constantly thinks of avoidance of danger, the result can only be insecurity and fear." Principle comes first and foremost. The pleasure of life, the satisfaction of life, the perfection of life can come later on.
5.Einstein saw divinity in all human beings, no matter how small their achievement on earth or how deplorable and meaningless their human life. Even when he had to face a volley of criticism, never did he give up this conviction. Indeed, poor Einstein was even criticised once for speaking in the same manner to a cleaning lady as to the president of his university.
6.Belief is a blessing, Einstein realised. This supreme blessing expedites man's inward, onward and upward journey. Each individual believes in something in a unique way, and achieves something that is also unique. What is his achievement? A feeling of oneness.
On being asked if there is anything in which a person can believe, the supreme lover in Einstein offered this special message to the world at large: "I believe in the brotherhood of man, the uniqueness of the individual." When asked to prove his belief, Einstein declared, "The mind can proceed only so far upon what it knows and can prove. There comes a point where the mind takes a leap — call it intuition or what you will — and comes out upon a higher plane of knowledge, but never can prove how it got there. All great discoveries have involved such a leap."
7.The scientist-seeker knew that imagination is a reality. This reality is a world of its own. Slowly and steadily this reality enters into the human life to inspire the world with a new creation. Imagination is indeed the harbinger of a new creation. In Einstein's words, "Man's conquest over his own ignorance must rest on intuition. It is imagination that makes man able to talk to the stars."
We marvel at the transformation as the scientist-sage became the seeker-seer and offered the esoteric and Supreme truth in a visible and tangible manner. "I claim credit for nothing. Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect as well as for the star. Human beings, vegetables or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible player."
Part IV: Science, religion and spirituality
1.What we have, we want to perfect. But we are not aware of where the goal is, what it looks like or what it stands for. We are not even aware that it exists. So naturally confusion assails us when we think of the goal. We try to perfect the tools that we are going to use, but what we are using them for, let alone what our cherished goal is, we do not know. Said Einstein, "Perfection of means and confusion of goals seem to characterise our age."
Science gives us the means; religion shows us the goal. In the scientist's words: "Though religion may be that which determines the goal, it has nevertheless learned from science, in the broadest sense, what means will contribute to the attainment of the goal it has set up." So science and religion are interdependent.
Science sees; religion feels. Science says to religion: "I am seeing only to give you what I see." Religion says to science: "I am feeling only to give you what I feel." The benefit of science is recognised first in the mental world, then in the physical world. The benefit of religion is recognised first in the psychic world, then in the physical world.
Science says, "Truth-discovery is life-mastery." Religion says, "Life-mastery is truth-discovery." Science walks along the road that leads from perfection to satisfaction. Religion walks along the road that leads from satisfaction to perfection.
Inside the mind of science, God the creation looms large. Inside the heart of religion, God the Creator looms large. The mind of science smiles when it discovers the truth. The heart of religion cries when it discovers the truth. Science says to its discovery, "I am happy because I have conquered you." Religion says to its discovery, "I am happy because at long last you have conquered me."
The scientist-sage in Einstein discovered the true truth: "Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind." He also revealed another truth: "The cosmic religious experience is the strongest and noblest driving force behind scientific research."
On another occasion he said, "The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. He who knows it not and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead…It was the experience of mystery…that engendered religion."
Material things could not please Einstein. Political things could not please him, either. The treasures of spirituality — life's simplicity, the heart's sincerity and the soul's luminosity — in a special way pleased him. Him to quote: "The basis of all scientific work is the conviction that the world is an ordered and comprehensive entity, which is a religious sentiment. My religious feeling is a humble amazement at the order revealed in the small patch of reality to which our feeble intelligence is equal."
God's ways are inscrutable. The human mind is baffled when it tries to measure God the unfathomable. But that does not mean that God gets malicious pleasure from this. No, the subtle God wants us to enjoy the subtle divinities and realities which are infinitely more beautiful more meaningful, more soulful and more fruitful than the outer divinities and realities. God feels that we too can enjoy the inner worlds most palpably and most convincingly by becoming subtle like God Himself. In a few prophetic words, Einstein teaches the world, "The Lord God is subtle, but malicious He is not."
Once Einstein wrote to a friend something about God-existence. What he said illumines those who love not only God the creation but also God the Universal Law, which houses perfect harmony disguised as seeming disorder: "You believe in a God who plays at dice, whereas I believe in perfect laws in a world of existing things, in so far as they are real, which I try to understand with wild speculation."
Each God-believer believes in God according to his inner capacities and outer confidence. Let us observe what kind of God Einstein believed in and revealed to the world at large: "I believe in a God who reveals Himself in the harmony of all beings."
The lover of life and the fulfiller of life in Einstein had no time to care for either the beginning or the end of life. Birth, death and life come from the same source, the perennial Source, the Abode of Immortality. Therefore, life could not puzzle him and death could not snatch him. "I feel myself so much a part of all life that I am not in the least concerned with the beginning or the end of the concrete existence of any particular person in this unending stream," he said.
For the spiritual seeker, the fleeting moment is most important. A fleeting moment has the capacity to conquer Eternity's Breath if the Supreme can utilise it in His own Way in and through a choice instrument of His. This is true for any field of human endeavour. Therefore, one should always try to be alert and conscious and aspire most soulfully in one's own career, valuing not only the historical calendar but also the individual moment. In this way one can become a conscious instrument of the Supreme and turn one's life into a supreme achievement of which both Heaven and earth can be proud.
No one is more aware of the supreme importance of the fleeting moment than the photographer. Einstein once commented that a photographer is like a surgeon. "You have a life in your hands every time you use your camera and are photographing someone, because the picture you take today you may not get tomorrow, so you have to be very, very careful." Indeed, it may require only a few seconds to take a picture, but that photograph may be treasured by somebody for all his life.
In everything we do, there is the outer way and the inner way. The outer way is the way of possibility The inner way is the way of inevitability. The seeker brings to the fore the inevitabilities and manifests them in a solid and concrete manner. An ordinary individual, who is not a seeker, does not have a free access to the inner source. He usually turns possibility into inevitability by hard labour combined with Grace from above, of which he is totally unconscious.
It is our freedom of choice that helps us eventually improve both our outer and inner lives. The outer life tells us: "Become and give." The inner life tells us: "Give. Give what you have and what you are. In the process of your self-giving, to your wide surprise you will see that you have become not only what you long for, but something infinitely more."
Einstein's observation on how freedom relates to spiritual development and the perfection of nature is at once inspiring and illumining: "Only if outward and inner freedom are constantly and consciously pursued is there a possibility of spiritual development and perfection and thus of improving man's outward and inner life."
Part V: Humanitarianism
O Human RightsO Human Rights Divine!
In harmony-world you shine.
You are the Voice of Light
and blue Perfection-Height.
Yours is the supreme role
to change the cosmos-dole.
You are the only strength
of Heaven's Vision-length.
no more —
— Sri Chinmoy
Equality is of paramount importance. No equality, no peace of mind. No individual should become a victim to racial bias. There is no black or white. One soul, one goal, one Divinity and one Immortality shall always reign supreme over humanity's devoted mind and surrendered heart. Einstein's life knew it. Einstein's heart felt it. Einstein's soul was more than eager to share this sublime truth with humanity
In championing the cause of black people in America, Einstein was brave in action as well as in speech. Here the scientist became a fully devoted and dedicated God-server in man and man-lover in God. "I believe that whoever tries to think things through honestly will soon recognise how unworthy and even fatal is the traditional bias against Negroes…. What can the man of good will do to combat this deeply rooted prejudice? He must have the courage to set an example by words and deeds, and must watch lest his children become influenced by racial bias."
By serving humanity, one fulfils one's true destiny. But he who expects a result from his actions is a veritable beggar. His is the heart that is wanting in magnanimity. His is the heart that is wanting in oneness with the Infinite. To quote Einstein: "Why should one man receive a greater 'reward' for his work than another? And is it not a man's duty to serve his fellow man without thinking in terms of reward?"
Science is indeed a great instrument, but if humanity or human realities are not given first and foremost importance, then no scientific data can ever elevate or illumine the earth-consciousness. Man's fate man alone must change. Man's face man alone must transform. There is no other way. Then, once it is done, man can invoke science to add more significance and more fruitfulness to humanity. Said Einstein, "Of course, science is suffering from the terrible effects of the war, but it is humanity that should be given first consideration."
Part VI: Education-light
1.Everything has its own origin. Einstein felt that the education-world begins with the mother. In an unmistakable manner he points out the responsibility of the mother and declares that the mother can offer something eternally fulfilling: peace. "Education should begin in the cradle. Mothers throughout the world have the responsibility of sowing the seeds of peace into the souls of their children."
Education means either to learn or to unlearn. Normally when we use the term "education," we mean that we are going to learn something. But this is not always the case. Proper education offers both learning and unlearning. What we learn with the earth-bound mind is nothing more than limited knowledge. This knowledge is not and cannot be our eternal friend. It cannot help us all the time; it cannot save us from stark danger; it cannot illumine our deep-rooted subconscient and inconscient realities. Einstein's comment on education is supremely illumining: "Education is that which remains when one has forgotten everything he learned in school."
It is not knowledge but wisdom that is our constant helper and constant saviour. This wisdom dawns when we surmount the barriers of the human mind. This wisdom dawns when we conquer mind-produced worry, anxiety, meanness and jealousy. This wisdom dawns only when we unlearn the unnecessary messages of the unhealthy, critical, cynical and strangling mind.
2.Einstein's way of teaching was very special. Humour played a gigantic role at times in his approach. He taught his students not only how to think but also what to think of. "Think more. Be totally absorbed. The answer is bound to dawn," was his philosophy. Memorisation, he felt, is not and cannot be the ultimate answer. He stressed this undeniable fact vehemently and unreservedly. Only today's proper thinking will bring in tomorrow's satisfaction-sun.
3.The experiences that he got from the teaching world, personal and otherwise, are at once shocking and illumining. "Academic chairs are many, but wise and noble teachers are few," he said. Because poor Einstein was a stranger to formality, he lost his teaching post at a boarding school in 1902. It seems that the parents of the rich children there found it too difficult to put up with his wisdom-flooded informality. But again, there were highly advanced souls who found nothing wrong in his informal approach to the unfoldment of hidden realities. On the contrary, in Princeton and other places people later appreciated and admired his independent approach.
4.Joy is of paramount importance: joy within, joy without, joy in all spheres of life. How does one derive joy? One derives joy from a supreme art which a teacher possesses. When this supreme art the teacher offers to an individual, that particular individual becomes the possessor of joy. This offering is made through an awakening — the awakening in the student of a self-expressing creativity. Momentous is the prophetic utterance of the emperor-scientist: "It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge."
Part VII: Einstein's humour
1.Where is happiness? In the unmarried life? Most bachelors and spinsters are of the opinion that married people are happy. Again, married couples will be the first to declare that happiness can be found anywhere else, but not inside them. They feel that it is not even meant for them.
Love is not bad. It is divine. It can lift humanity high, higher, highest. But when it is misused, it is bound to descend along with those who are around it.
Whom do you love, how do you love and why do you love? If you can answer these questions properly and utilise the answers in your everyday life, then there can be no descent; there is only constant ascent. Otherwise, who can deny the undeniable gravitation-reality, especially in the consciousness-world, which is the soul-breath of God's creation?
Once Einstein received a letter which was full of misconceptions about physics. The writer understood that because of gravity a person is sometimes upright, sometimes upside down and sometimes at right angles to the earth. He asked Einstein if it was while they were standing on their heads that people fell in love and did other foolhardy things. Einstein did not reply, but he wrote on the letter: "Falling in love is not at all the most stupid thing that people do — but gravitation cannot be held responsible for it."
2.There is no such thing as human authority. Human authority is nothing short of the bankruptcy of conscience and the nourishment of ignorance-hunger. In the truth-world there is only oneness, which is another name for all-illumining, all-guiding and all-fulfilling satisfaction.
Human authority and God's irresistible laughter are inseparable. Einstein once wrote that over the entrance to the Marx-Lenin Institute in Moscow these words should be inscribed: "In the realm of truth there is no human authority. Whoever attempts to play the autocrat incurs the laughter of the Gods."
3.The wonder of wonders is his theory of relativity. This discovery opened up for humanity an all-illumining and all-fulfilling vision. It is such a serious, supremely important and supremely earth-fulfilling discovery. Yet at one point Einstein himself takes it in an amusing and light vein: "When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems to him a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for only a minute — and it's longer than an hour. That's relativity."
4.When one becomes great, one's nationalism grows into internationalism and every nation claims one as its own, very own. But alas, when one brings discredit to one's nation, that nation, even though it is one's motherland or fatherland, does not hesitate to disown its son or daughter.
Einstein said, "If my theory of relativity is proven successful, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that I am a German and Germany will declare that I am a Jew."
5.Einstein the immortal soul found it difficult to appreciate earthly pomp. A man of silence, he treasured the silence-life infinitely more than the sound-life which humanity had thrust upon him. When someone asked him who would be attending a university fund-raising banquet being held in honour of his seventy-fourth birthday, he remarked, "One hundred distinguished guests, and I expect they will include the Ambassador from Mars."
6.To our joy, Einstein's humour does not stop with human beings. It includes poor God, too. Once, when Einstein had gone to visit a friend in the hospital, a large crowd gathered outside the hospital room just to see the scientist. A rabbi in the crowd was brave enough to approach Einstein personally, but Einstein didn't mind. He said, "You have rights. After all, you work for a very important boss."
7.Who can stand on the same footing as Einstein in devouring his adversaries' venomous criticism and offering in return a beaming smile that appreciated their insults? Once, when an organisation was formed in Berlin for the sole purpose of denouncing Einstein and his theories, Einstein himself came to its meeting and sat in the front row — even applauding several speakers who spoke against him.
8.The scientist Einstein enjoyed the humourist Einstein far beyond our imagination. At times, even before he offered his humour-world to others, he enjoyed it so much himself that it totally engulfed him. Naturally this produced boundless satisfaction and delight in his listeners.
The French writer Romain Rolland, who became very good friends with Einstein, told the world something highly significant about his friend. Extreme seriousness and extreme amusement were mutually happy and perfectly safe in the mind-home and heart-home of the scientist: "He is very much alive and fond of laughter. He cannot help giving an amusing twist to the most serious thoughts. "
9.Who can describe Einstein the humourist better than he himself? Unparalleled he remains in his own humour-life. The scientist-humourist once wrote the following letter to his eight-year-old niece, who was sad about not being able to see him when he was in town:
"I hear from Elsa that you are dissatisfied because you did not see your Uncle Einstein. Let me therefore tell you what I look like: pale face, long hair, and a tiny beginning of a paunch. In addition, an awkward gait, and a cigar in the mouth — if he happens to have a cigar — and a pen in his pocket or his hand. But crooked legs and warts he does not have, and so he is quite handsome — also no hair on his hands such as is often found on ugly men. So it is indeed a pity that you did not see me.
With warm greetings from Your Uncle Einstein."
Part VIII: War and peace
1.Einstein was a man of peace. Peace is the divine fulfilment of the enlightened sound-life. In this prophetic utterance, Einstein assuages humanity's pangs, ameliorates humanity's frustrations and awakens in humanity a new hope-dawn and fulfilment-noon: "Mankind is now approaching an era in which peace treaties will not only be recorded on paper but will also become inscribed in the hearts of men."
On another occasion, Einstein's prophetic utterance was almost diametrically opposite. It, too, was founded upon his own experiences while journeying along earth-roads to Heaven-goals. The frustrated, bewildered, heartbroken scientist offers us this deplorable devastating yet undeniable statement: "As long as there will be man, there will be wars."
This world is not wanting in critics. Some critics or wiseacres and fools accused Einstein of bringing about the destructive release of atomic energy. But he vehemently denied it. "I do not consider myself the father of the release of atomic energy. My part in it was quite indirect. I did not, in fact, foresee that it would be released in my time. I believed only that it was theoretically possible." The seer-scientist told the world, moreover, that the mere discovery of a nuclear world could not cause destruction. "The discovery of nuclear chain reaction need not bring about the destruction of mankind any more than did the discovery of matches… To have security against atomic bombs… we have to prevent war."
He never foresaw that his great discovery would be misused to such an extent that the world would suffer an unforgettable loss. If there is a choice between the tyranny of world government and the most powerful destruction-bomb, Einstein revealed, "I fear the bomb more."
The giver of wisdom and the lover of humanity in Einstein went far beyond human thoughts and ideas. "The first atomic bomb destroyed more than the city of Hiroshima. It also exploded our inherited, outdated political ideas," he said.
Part IX: America and Israel
1.The body-consciousness of Einstein cried for liberty; his vital-consciousness, for tolerance; and his mind-consciousness, for equality. He realised that these divine qualities were not to be found in his birthplace, Germany, but in America. Therefore, he adopted American citizenship.
Brave he was to the core. From his brave utterances on America and Germany, our world of conflicting ideas and confusing thoughts can learn much: "As long as I have any choice in the matter, I shall live only in a country where civil liberty, tolerance and equality of all citizens before the law prevail. Civil liberty implies freedom to express one's political convictions, in speech and in writing; tolerance implies respect for the convictions of others, whatever they may be. These conditions do not exist in Germany at the present time. Men, among them leading artists, who have made a particularly great contribution to the cause of international understanding, are being persecuted there."
Freedom he wanted; freedom he received in ample measure from America. While he enjoyed freedom in America, America's admiration surcharged his. He was admired not only by those who understood or tried to understand him as a man of science, but also by those who were totally ignorant of science. He was admired, adored and loved because of his heart's cosmopolitan outlook and his life's universality-treasure.
Einstein made America supremely happy and America made him eternally happy. Here we see a mutual happiness. His vision turned into fulfilling reality, he felt, because of his stay in America. The American consciousness pleased him to such an extent that he cheerfully and dauntlessly voiced forth: "I work here under the best imaginable working conditions, and I have never been so happy. I would rather live here than anywhere else in the world."
The scientist-sage was very moved by America's forward-looking attitude. America, because of its divinely childlike consciousness, always wants to become more powerful, more soulful, more self-giving and more fulfilling. It wants to grow and make progress, to proceed onward and dive deeply inward. Here movement means progress and progress means satisfaction. As Einstein so aptly expressed it, "The American lives even more for his goals, for the future, than the European. Life for him is always becoming, never being."
As a man of high aspirations himself, Einstein greatly appreciated President Wilson's high ideas, higher ideals and highest goals. Einstein, nobility incarnate, said something most illumining about Wilson. He said that it is not the success but the attempt itself that deserves appreciation. "That Wilson failed to carry out his ideas is beside the point. The enthusiasm with which his preachment was hailed demonstrated that the American public has an international mind."
America's pre-eminence was clearly recognised by Einstein. With true vision he saw how America stands in the vanguard of human success and progress. Him to quote: "This country has through hard but peaceful labour achieved the position of undisputed pre-eminence among the nations of the world. Today it stands forth as the citadel of the ancient, high ideals of a political democracy."
Einstein was extremely grateful to America. Only the possessor of a great soul can have a gratitude-heart and a gratitude-life: gratitude within and gratitude without. The gratitude-heart and gratitude-life of Einstein declared: "My birthday affords me the welcome opportunity to express my feelings of deep gratitude for the ideal working and living conditions which have been placed at my disposal in the United States."
The outer politics as such was not Einstein's forte. His politics did not involve the supremacy of one party over another, but rather the oneness-manifestation of humanity's oneness-heart.
Nothing outer could elevate his inner heights. Nothing outer could add to his inner glories. Therefore, it was so easy for him to decline even the supreme distinction of becoming the second President of Israel. When he was offered the post, he said, "I am deeply moved by the offer from our state of Israel, and at once saddened and ashamed that I cannot accept it. All my life I have dealt with objective matters; hence I lack both the natural aptitude and the experience to deal properly with people and to exercise official functions. For these reasons alone I should be unsuited to fulfil the duties of that high office, even if advancing age was not making increasing inroads on my strength."
His love for Israel can better be felt than described. His oneness-love for Israel did not allow him to lord it over Israel. His love was founded upon inner satisfaction and oneness-fulfilment. Indeed, the last speech he wrote before his death, although it was never delivered, was in support of Israel:
"I speak to you tonight as an American citizen and also as a Jew and as a human being who has always striven to consider matters objectively. What I am trying to do is simply to serve truth and justice with my modest strength.
You may think that the conflict between Israel and Egypt is a small and unimportant problem. We have more important concerns you might say. That is not the case. When it comes to truth and justice there is no difference between small and great problems. Whosoever fails to take small matters seriously in a spirit of truth, cannot be trusted in greater affairs…."
Part X: Internationalism
1.His conviction was that nationalism is not the answer, but internationalism. Said Einstein: "Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind."
Internationalism only can and will save the world. Some think it is from nationalism that one should eventually enter into internationalism. They feel that first one has to know what one is in one's little self, and then only one will be able to know what one is in one's larger self. But the scientist felt that we should think only of our higher self, our better self, our more illumining and more fulfilling self, for there alone lies our abiding satisfaction. Think not of what you are, but of what you eventually can become: this is his philosophy. Him to quote: "I believe it is of utmost importance that everybody who is aware that necessity — not to speak of idealistic considerations — demands in the present condition of the world a greater unity of material and spiritual co-operation, should resolve never more to ask, 'What can be done for my country?' but much rather, 'What must my country do to make it possible for the greater entity to exist?'"
Einstein firmly believed that it was essential to achieve oneness: "I hold it to be of extreme consequence that wherever the possibility arises, men of different languages, of different political and cultural ideas, should get in touch with one another across their frontiers — not with the feeling that something might be squeezed out of the other for their and their country's benefit, but with a spirit of good will to bridge the gap between the spiritual groups in comparatively independent spheres. Only thus can we hope to accomplish such a political unity […] as will give us assurance of being able to survive economically and safeguard our spiritual existence. Only then will life be worth living."
The scientist-prophet, humanity-lover and truth-server illumines the members of his world-family with his lovingly complete wisdom-authority. In an open letter to Sigmund Freud, Einstein said, "The quest of international security involves the unconditional surrender by every nation, in a certain measure, of its liberty of action, its sovereignty, that is to say, and it is clear beyond all doubt that no other road can lead to such security."
The League of NationsThe scientist in Einstein was so great that he far transcended his nationality. Therefore, it was so easy for the League of Nations to invite him to become a member of its Committee on Intellectual Co-operation even while his nation was begging for membership in the League. The illumining thoughts that he offered regarding this great incident awaken the sleeping life and illumine the suspecting mind of humanity.
The Committee sought to re-establish contacts disrupted by war, to report to the League on measures to be taken to facilitate intellectual exchanges, particularly scientific ones, among nations. Einstein agreed with this lofty goal. "I consider it my duty to accept your invitation. In my opinion, no one, in times such as these, should refuse to participate in any effort made to bring about international co-operation," he said.
Later he wrote: "These more enlightened men can make an important contribution to the great task of reviving international societies by keeping in close touch with like-minded men and women the world over, as well as by steadfastly championing the cause of internationalism in their own spheres of influence. Real success will require time, but eventually it will undoubtedly come… I am extremely hopeful for the progress of a general international organisation."
When he expressed something, he expressed it unreservedly. When he rejected something, he rejected it vehemently. Sincerity always reigned supreme in his life. If he saw something good, illumining and fulfilling, then he immediately offered his heart and soul to manifest that particular thing. But if he saw something that failed to live up to its promise, then his indifference was also striking. When resigning from the Committee on Intellectual Co-operation of the League some months after its first meeting in August of 1922, Einstein said: "I have become convinced that the League possesses neither the strength nor the good will necessary to accomplish its task. As a convinced pacifist it does not seem well to me to have any relation whatever with the League."
Later he emphasised: "I withdrew because the League of Nations, as it functions at present, not only does not embody the ideal of an international organisation but actually discredits such an ideal…. I did so, however, with great reluctance, because the hope has not yet quite died in me that, within the shell of the League of Nations as it exists today, a better institution may develop in time."
Then again, when Einstein saw that his conviction had not been well-founded, that he had missed the point, he was more than willing to correct himself and try to manifest the abiding truth in the League of Nations. When asked to return to the Committee as a sign of rapprochement after his protest-resignation, Einstein accepted the invitation: "I myself have slowly come to feel that I was influenced more by a passing mood of disillusionment than by clear thinking. True, so far the League has often failed; but, at a time as saddening as this, it must still be regarded as that institution which offers the best promise of effective action to those who honestly work for international reconciliation."
The United NationsClearly, pointedly and illuminingly Einstein told the world what the actual role of the United Nations is: "The United Nations now and world government eventually must serve one single goal — the guarantee of the security, the tranquility and the welfare of all mankind." Here the scientist proved that he was something more than a scientist, more than a philosopher, more than an intellectual — indeed, a true possessor of wisdom-tower. The hopes and dreams he had for the United Nations will most assuredly turn into realities some day.
His seeker-heart declared: "We are convinced that the United Nations will be able to develop into a world government only when the Assembly is no longer composed of delegates appointed by governments, but, instead, of representatives elected directly by the people. Only in this way will the delegates serve the interests of supranational order and security according to their own best judgement."
Again: "The extension of the United Nations, to encompass possibly all countries, will create a better basis for disarmament negotiations; hence efforts to increase membership should precede any attempt to solve the problem of disarmament."
Sooner than at once he appreciated the goodness and wisdom in others. In his journey towards the supreme goal of oneness, he appreciated and admired all his fellow travellers who dreamt of one world, one home and one heart. To Trygve Lie, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Einstein wrote: "You are one of the very few who, in the midst of the bewilderment and confusion of our time, has succeeded in keeping his vision clear, and whose urge to be of constructive help remains undeterred by obstacles and narrow allegiances…. I am one of the many whose thoughts accompany you with gratitude and hope."
In Einstein the world saw a man of spontaneity, a man of sincerity who cared for world-progress more than anything else. It was not who did something, but that the thing was done that he considered of paramount importance. Again, when he saw the doer, he admired him unreservedly for his unparalleled achievement. After hearing a talk by United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold, Einstein wrote: "I cannot refrain from expressing my sincere admiration for your address on the occasion of the Columbia University Bicentennial Celebration. In the wake of so much mendacity and hypocrisy, your lucid and honest remarks were a welcome relief. I consider it fortunate that a man such as yourself has been entrusted with the most important and difficult position which you now occupy."
Dag Hammarskjold replied, "It was my intention to present a vigorous and unequivocal declaration on behalf of those ideals and principles that constitute the only possible background and the only possible atmosphere for the work of a man who, like you, is one of the pioneers of mankind…. It is a truly deep satisfaction for me to know that you not only understand what I tried to communicate to the large audience… but that you also approve of what I said. Such understanding, especially coming from you, is meaningful to me beyond words."
These two immortals sailed in the same boat Their admiration was not mere admiration, but the manifestation of oneness-life from their oneness-soul.
Part XI: Reflections on Einstein
1.To analyse is to misjudge a soul. To love is to fathom a soul's depth. Analysis takes place in the mental world, which is often frequented by the hooligans doubt and deception.
A genius always stands far beyond the reach of the common run. He is far above us, yet he is always for us. Einstein's wife, Elsa, offered a world of illumination to her husband's critics and dear ones alike when she said: "You cannot analyse him, otherwise you will misjudge him. Such a genius should be irreproachable in every respect. But no, nature doesn't behave like this. Where she goes extravagantly, she takes away extravagantly. You have to see him all of one piece. You cannot put him under one heading or another heading. Otherwise, you have unpleasantness. God has given him so much nobility, and I find him wonderful, although life with him is exhausting and complicated, and not only in one way, but in others."
Unprecedented was Elsa's service to her scientist-husband. She rightly deserves the loftiest appreciation for her endless and sleepless devotion to him. No wonder a friend of theirs lovingly voiced forth: "Your Elsa guards the mortal that the immortal may live." Needless to say, Einstein unreservedly saw eye to eye with his friend.
At times it is quite difficult for an individual to get appreciation from his dear ones and from the immediate members of his family because of their demanding nature and their expectations, founded upon familiarity. But to our great joy, Einstein's daughter-in-law, Hans' wife, tells the world what she saw in the scientist: "Dr. Einstein has been the sweetest, kindest, most understanding father-in-law any woman could have, he is a good and wonderful man."
2.The scientist-sage had genuine love for India. He also had tremendous admiration for the Indian leaders who were the fate-makers of India, like Gandhi and Nehru. Einstein deeply appreciated and soulfully admired Gandhi's non-violence movement. In his study he cherished a drawing of Gandhi, a striking reminder that the soul-power is infinitely superior to military power. To his family he read aloud Gandhi's autobiography. The soul-power, which is inner freedom, eventually brings about outer freedom as well. Einstein's heart and mind were fully convinced of this supreme truth.
India is the harbinger of inner peace. India is the pioneer of inner heart's inner oneness. The scientist felt it in the very depth of his heart. He himself was a staunch supporter of peace. He himself cared for peace more than anything else, both in national life and in international life. His heart-door and his house-door were wide open to the Indians. This singular gesture was not meant for all other nationalities.
Once an interview took place between Einstein and India's Ambassador to the United States, Gaganvihari Mehta. At the very outset the Ambassador said to the scientist, "I have come to invite you to attend a science conference in India as an honoured guest of our country."
Einstein's immediate response was both sorrowful and soulful: "Both because of my health and my age I must decline, but it is with regret, for I have a deep regard for the of people of India and for Prime Minister Nehru."
During the interview at one point the Indian Ambassador struck a note of similarity between Gandhi and Einstein. Softly, humbly, unhesitatingly and sagaciously said the scientist, "Don't, please, compare me with Gandhi. He did so much for humanity. What have I done? There is nothing unusual about discovering a few scientific formulas."
3.Two immortals: Tagore and Einstein. During their memorable interview at Einstein's place in Berlin, both of them unfortunately had to enjoy a difference of opinions. True indeed is the saying, "Many minds, many ways."
"This world," said Tagore, "is a human world. The scientific view of it is only that of the scientific man. Therefore, the world apart from us humans does not exist, it is a relative world, depending for its reality upon our consciousness. There is a standard of reason which gives it truth — the standard of the eternal man, whose experiences are made possible through our experiences."
Einstein's comment: "I agree with the conception of beauty as being inseparable from man, but I do not agree with this conception as pertaining to truth."
"Why not?" enquired Tagore "Truth is realised through man."
After a long pause, Einstein replied very quietly and softly: "I cannot prove my conception is right, but that is my religion."
At the end of the journeys close, each individual is entitled to reach his destination according to his inner experiences and outer manifestations. The approaches of these two unique individuals to the reality-world were strikingly different, but needless to say both of them, from two different angles, will eventually arrive at the self-same goal: oneness-satisfaction and satisfaction-perfection.
4.Only an enlightened soul knows another enlightened soul. On the strength of their inner awareness, inner oneness and inner cry for humanity's goal, they disclose to the world what true wisdom is, who embodies it and how it can be achieved. India's Prime Minister Nehru saw that the emperor-scientist was the wisest and greatest man. When Einstein died, Nehru sadly reflected, "The wisest and greatest man among us has passed away. Not for many years will we fully appreciate that wisdom and greatness. But he has tried to show us the way. Those who have the responsibility for leading nations have a tendency to think only of their own societies. But Albert Einstein has been telling us that we can no longer live in separate worlds. It is that concept of a unified world which all of us — leaders and citizens — must now create and serve."
Einstein's supreme height was expressed eloquently and unmistakably by a colleague of his in Berlin, Professor Ladenburg, who said, "There were two kinds of physicists in Berlin. On the one hand was Einstein, on the other all the rest." Indeed, Einstein had a huge boat, while other scientists had to be satisfied with rafts.
President Eisenhower, the indomitable soul born in a freedom-loving country, frankly, unreservedly and convincingly offered his personal opinion about the founder of the atomic age: "No other man contributed so much to the vast expansion of twentieth-century knowledge."
Einstein's physical death prompted this immortal utterance from the supreme cellist, Pablo Casals: "After Einstein's death it is as if the world has lost a part of its substance." Pablo Casals again offered his gratitude-flowers to the supreme scientist when he said, "I was perpetually grateful to him for his protest against the injustice to which my homeland was sacrificed."
What the supreme playwright George Bernard Shaw said about the supreme scientist should be imprinted in letters of gold in the hearts of all creation-loving and Creator-fulfilling humans: "There are great men who are great among small men. There are great men who are great among great men, and that is the sort of man that we are honouring tonight. Napoleon and other great men of his type were makers of Empire. But there is an order of man who gets beyond that. They are makers of universes…"